There are just some dates that stick with you forever—dates you never forget, such as the birth of your child, wedding anniversaries, the day Kennedy was shot, you know the type of days. The loss of a loved one usually leaves a date indelibly imprinted in your heart’s calendar, and every year when it rolls around, you find yourself reflecting, and perhaps even feeling a need to grieve just a bit more. Today is one of those days for me.
For those of you who have read my first book, Orange Blossom Wishes, you are aware of the pedestal I placed my Granddaddy upon, and how deeply it scarred me to lose him at such a young age. On August 3, 1958, I was only six years old. Yes, that was over half a century ago (OUCH!), but I remember it as if it were yesterday. We were sitting at the supper table. My mother was due any day with twins. Granddaddy had been in the hospital as the result of suffering a heart attack at the age of 53. When Daddy sat down at the table he remarked, “I have something to tell you.” I was so certain he was going to tell me Granddaddy was finally coming home. Instead, he said, “Granddaddy has gone to Heaven.” Well, no problem. When could I go visit him there, and when was he coming back? At six years old, Heaven was just another place to me, kind of like the park downtown or the shoe store. After several questions from me, in the midst of the grief of losing his father, my daddy yelled, “He is dead and he is never coming back!” What? Never? How could that be? How long was “never?” It sounded like a very long time. The child in me could not comprehend the concept of eternity.
As I sit here typing, it baffles me how, after all these years, I still find this a date of reflection, but yet a bit of sadness. Granddaddy gifted me with some of the best memories of my life. I will never forget him, or stop missing him. You see, when we have that sort of impact on the life of another, we will live in their hearts forever. So, I think it is okay to “commemorate” the dates that mean so much to us—even the ones that perhaps hold less than happy thoughts. I like to consider it a bit of self-help therapy, and a good dose for what ails your emotional wellbeing.
As Horace said in his Latin poem, “Carpe diem—seize the day.” I choose to revise it just a bit. “Carpe momentum—seize the moment.” I’m not even sure if that can be an actual phrase, but I’ve decided to enter it into the Blonde Standard Version Dictionary of Comments (if one actually existed!). After all, the moment, the now is all we truly have. And right now I choose to recall the times I shared with Granddaddy, miss him a bit, and honor him with this post.
Solomon Joseph “Doc” Hennecy—You will live in the heart of this child forever. Rest in peace, Granddaddy. See ya at the house!
Who is the “someone” you loved and lost?
How did they impact your life?
Carolyn is an advocate for sexual/domestic violence and assault awareness, also focusing on child sexual abuse. She is a Life Direction & Empowerment Coach, working with victims and survivors of molestation, sexual assault, domestic violence or spousal abuse, and bringing training to organizations seeking to help victims. Listen to Carolyn’s interview with Cynthia Brennen, on “Help, Hope & Healing.” Visit her website: orangeblossomwishes.com.
- The Face of God (caneycreektexas.wordpress.com)